Important information for proposers

All proposals must be submitted in accordance with the requirements specified in this funding opportunity and in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) that is in effect for the relevant due date to which the proposal is being submitted. It is the responsibility of the proposer to ensure that the proposal meets these requirements. Submitting a proposal prior to a specified deadline does not negate this requirement.

Dear Colleague Letter

Commercialization Assistance Program (CAP): Supplemental Funding to Current SBIR/STTR Phase II Awards

This document is no longer current and has been archived.

This document is no longer current and has been archived.

Dear Colleagues:

Commercialization Assistance Program (CAP) supplements to Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program Phase II grants are intended to assist the small businesses in their technology commercialization efforts. Specifically, this supplemental funding is aimed at enabling the grantee to secure the services of a third-party service provider that will assist with one or more of the following commercialization activities:

  1. the identification and development of customers for the NSF-funded technology;
  2. providing advice on financing strategy and fundraising from private sector;
  3. establishing strategic partnerships with relevant stakeholders; and/or
  4. the evaluation and protection of intellectual property.


  • Eligibility: Currently active SBIR and STTR Phase II grantees are eligible to apply for this opportunity. Grantees under a no-cost extension are not eligible for the CAP supplemental funding unless the grantee has prior written approval from their cognizant Program Director to submit the CAP supplement request.
  • Maximum Supplement Amount: Limited to $10,000 per Phase II award and subject to the availability of funds and the quality of the supplemental funding requests.
  • Duration: The CAP supplemental funding project may run for the duration of the Phase II award. The supplement does not extend the original award expiration date.
  • Limit on Number of CAP Supplemental Funding Requests: One (1) per active Phase II grant. A CAP supplement does not limit the eligibility for a Phase IIB award or other supplemental funding opportunities. The receipt of other supplemental funding does not limit the eligibility for the CAP supplement.
  • Estimated Number of Supplements: One (1) supplement of up to $10,000 per Phase II award is anticipated, subject to the availability of funds and the quality of the supplemental funding requests.


Supplemental funding requests submitted in response to this Dear Colleague Letter must be prepared and submitted according to the instructions for submitting supplemental funding requests (reference:

The PI should contact his/her cognizant Program Director and obtain written permission prior to submitting a supplemental request for CAP funding.

The supplemental request will include:

  • The commercial opportunity, including the ultimate commercial application of the technology.
  • The proposed commercialization activities to be undertaken with support from the service provider. These activities should be a logical extension of the Phase II commercialization plan that was submitted in the Phase II proposal.
  • The expected outcomes of the proposed activities.
  • A brief profile of the service provider, including a discussion of the provider’s qualifications and track record.
  • Letter of commitment or statement of work from the service provider describing the services to be provided and clearly defined, agreed-upon deliverables with measurable success metrics.

Budgetary Information: Budget for a CAP supplemental funding request may not exceed $10,000 per Phase II award.

Submission Deadlines: Only active Phase II awards are eligible to receive a CAP supplement. Phase II awardees are strongly encouraged to submit their CAP supplemental funding requests within 12 months of the effective start date of the Phase II award. Phase II awardees are not eligible to apply for a CAP supplement within 45 days prior to expiration of their award. However, a Program Director may, at his or her discretion, modify the submission deadline.


Requests for supplemental funding submitted in response to this Dear Colleague Letter will be reviewed internally by the cognizant SBIR/STTR Program Director. The review will focus on the commercialization objectives in the supplemental funding request as well as the expected commercialization outputs of the proposed activity.


The activities undertaken and results obtained under the CAP supplement must be reported in the interim and final reports for the Phase II award.


Questions about this letter should be directed to the cognizant SBIR/STTR Program Director in the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships, Directorate for Engineering.


All active SBIR/STTR Phase II grantees are invited to participate in other supplemental opportunities related to strategic partners and outside investors, the Phase II TECP and the Phase IIB programs (reference: Through these supplements, NSF seeks to stimulate strategic partnerships between small businesses and potential commercial partners and/or private sector investors to enable NSF SBIR/STTR grantees to successfully commercialize their technologies.